The ability to staff an ambulance is a constant issue across the country and here in Warren County.
EmergyCare hopes to recruit several new EMTs by offering an EMT Academy at Warren Station in North Warren early this year.
But there are some unique elements to this offer – the agency offers part-time salary and health benefits – to future EMTs while they are in training.
And the plan is to guarantee them a job when they are finished.
Dave Basnak, deputy director of EmergyCare, said they were initially looking for six to eight people, but could see the number increase.
“The EMS profession is focused on helping people in need”, he said. “We are looking for people who are people and community oriented. The basis of our mission at EmergyCare is to “save lives and have a positive impact on the health, well-being and safety of the communities we serve”.
In addition, the work is very convenient and requires the ability to quickly interpret a situation and take action based on those results.
The class will start in mid-February and run for 10 weeks and is specifically looking to recruit people from the Warren area.
“Applicants should have good study habits as this is a fast-paced program which is designed not only to provide them with the basis of EMT education, it also introduces them to our organization to familiarize themselves with. with our standard operations “, Basnak explained.
After completion and orientation, applicants must commit to working for one year with EmergyCare.
“However, we do offer the opportunity to move up the career ladder at EmergyCare”, said Basnak. “After gaining experience in the field, they have the opportunity to apply to our Advanced EMT and / or paramedical program to continue their EMS training. The paramedic program alone costs over $ 7,000, but no member of our staff who completes the program pays anything for a time commitment.
Those who wish to apply before the January 10 deadline can do so on the EmergyCare website – emergycare.org.
A similar program ended in Erie County last month. Of the 12 students who started, eight completed the program and “Will enter our system full time”.
He said the difference with public EMT courses is that they are “Filled with individuals who volunteer with an agency or someone who participates in an elective course at the university.” Many of these people do not have full-time careers in EMS.
Ongoing staffing issues have prompted the agency to go this far to find qualified paramedics.
“It’s no secret that recruiting people into the EMS field – career or volunteer – is a struggle and there is a staffing crisis,” said Basnak. “This program is 100% aimed at helping recruit people into the EMS system and providing a career ladder to progress. The only way to fight this crisis is to make the bold investment of recruiting new people into EMS. “
He recognized that this is a “Significant investment” for the agency and that there is now “no external funding to help offset the cost.”
“Expenses like this just impose the argument that local, state and federal officials urgently need to seek additional sources of funding beyond simple insurance reimbursement,” he said. he adds. said Basnak. “The goal of this program is to help with EMS staffing, but it’s not the ‘catch-all’ solution. The SME needs to be funded appropriately so that wages can be increased to levels that attract people to the industry.